Welcome to FRONTIErS

I’m Dr Luke J Prendergast, Project Lead for the “Foundations for Offshore Wind Turbines (FRONTIErS)” Doctoral Network (DN) Programme. I’d like to welcome you to our project!

FRONTIErS is a 4 year Marie-Curie Doctoral Network that kicked off in late 2022. The main participants include high-ranking European universities: University of Nottingham (UK), Delft University of Technology (NL), UPC Barcelona (Spain), and Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway); with leading industry participants in offshore wind technology: EDF (France), NGI (Norway), Esteyco (Spain), and SLPE (UK). This network is complemented by a wide array of Associated Partners from across Europe, Taiwan, the US, and Australia.

Together, our aim is to help solve emerging challenges presenting as a barrier to the continued development of the offshore wind energy sector, to facilitate the green energy transition, and to reduce reliance on fossil-based fuels. The offshore wind sector has experienced rapid growth in recent years, with new turbine technologies, increased sizes, and construction locations further from the shore in deeper waters than ever before. A critical challenge for future developments is the increasing lack of knowledge surrounding how to design foundations to support these rapidly-growing turbines; with the safety, life-span, cost, and environmental implications coming increasingly into question.

Eleven talented Doctoral Candidates (DCs) have been recruited to the programme and will undergo training via individual guided research projects, network-wide discipline-specific and transferrable training events, and local training at each host, over a 36-month PhD programme. DCs will receive training in innovation, communication, commercialisation and entrepreneurship as well as undertaking specific modules in business development to arm them with the requisite all-round skills to excel in academic or industry careers in the exciting offshore wind engineering industry. FRONTIErS will create the next generation of high-skilled professionals, who will be in high demand in this expanding sector and set the pace for new programmes to continue this innovative training for years to come.

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